Saturday 29th February
It's the first '29th of Feb' in 4 years! Put it down to global warming (or the leap year that happens every 4 years), either way, this day doesn't come around too often. I'm not sure why this happens, or what it means, nor do I understand how someone who is 30 has only had about 7 birthdays in their lifetime. Thankfully, none of that matters when you're three sheets to the wind and spinning to 'I Feel Love.' Pen and Pencil are throwing Manchester's best FREE disco-dancing, booty-shaking, soul-saving funk party. Dress code is: dancing shoes. You won't have a better night out for another 4 years.
General Ignorance - Pub Quiz Fundraiser
Sunday 1st March
Fundraising the fun way! In Cahoots Collective want your help to get their independent company off the ground - but begging for it ain't sexy. So grab a couple of friends and a pint and proper embarrass yourself (and your mates) at how little you know. Accompany your fearsome facts and competition with a side helping of HAUS' house pizzas (everything a Sunday night demands). Partnering with Jägermeister, every participant gets a 'well done for trying' shot - and a little more for the winners... plus, the losers get a wooden spoon, but I've already bagsied that (I'm excellent at losing things). Race you to the bottom.
The Big SAD
Monday 2nd March
You know that weird little space of time after Christmas is over? Those weeks that are a bit shit - and you can't cover it with tinsel, OD on sugar, and listen to Michael Buble, pretending its okay. Well, you could, at the risk of losing all your family and friends, OR, you could go to The Lowry to watch The Big SAD. It's a collection of funny sketches, songs, duologues and anything else to distract us from the pulsing void beneath us that Christmas left. Thanks a lot, Santa. Until then, stick a bauble on it and tuck into some cold turkey sandwiches. Spring's just around the corner, guys.
Trust The Chefs
Tuesday 3rd March
Edinburgh Castle very quickly became a team favourite. Its food has convinced some of us that it deserves Manchester's next Michelin star! I can't predict the future, but I might become Manchester's next Michelin man if I keep going back for more. It's seriously that good. This Tuesday, their chefs have prepared a blind 5-course tasting menu inspired by locally foraged ingredients and seasonal produce. The EC chefs make this massive leap of faith look like a frog hop; I would trust my life in their hands (and they're good with their hands). Couldn't have named the evening better myself. If you're a foodie - actually, no, if you eat food, this might be the most exciting event in Manchester you'll ever attend.
Wednesday 4th March
Are you one of those people in the crowd at gigs secretly hoping you'll get randomly selected to come up on stage and show off your long-perfected face-melting sax solo? Come on, we've all fantasized about it a little bit. I wouldn't know what to do with a sax if it hit me in the head and started tooting. 4th March at YES is your chance for a Jazz-Funk sesh with the slick Take Form house band. Join the jazz-ers (that's a thing, yes?) on stage, whether you're a musician or vocalist, beginner or veteran, this night is all about enjoying yourselves and honing your skills. Or go as a punter; enjoy the sweet, sweet music of the night - plus, a few mid-week drinks never hurt.
ICR Presents: POP UP
Thursday 5th March
Hatch is being invaded this Thursday. Taking over centre stage will be Inner City Recordings; expect limited-edition merchandise a pop-up shop. The indie record label is hosting a free-entry night in the food, drink & lifestyle playground under the Mancunian Way. Expect some of their top picks of Manchester's up-and-coming doing live performances (absolutely free) and ICR's DJs doing multi-genre sets throughout the evening (also absolutely free). If you still haven't been to visit Hatch since its expansion, this is the perfect excuse to get yourself down there.
DHAL + DIY
Friday 6th March
Think of everything fun to do that begins with a D. No, not that, gutter-brain. Obviously, I meant dancing, debating, drawing, DIY and eating dhal. NOMA has organised an afternoon of activities at the Old Bank Residency designed to celebrate DIY culture in the most sociable way. Dhal is always a bloody good square meal (appropriate for all diets too) and comes with all activities for only £5 a ticket. This month's workshop is watercolours with guest Penny Hicks. If you're anything like me, your work won't nearly scratch up to her beautiful pieces, but I'm here for the participation (and the food).